What We’re Reading: Moon Missions and Commercial Espionage

Weekly reviews of what's on our bookshelves.

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13 Minutes to the Moon Produced by BBC This past weekend, on the night of the summer solstice, which happens to be my favorite day of the year, people in parts of the Eastern Hemisphere could see a rare annular solar eclipse. This type of eclipse happens when the moon passes between the Earth and sun but appears too small to cover the sun completely, leaving a “ring of fire” around the moon visible from Earth. I couldn’t see the eclipse from my location in northern Germany, but I thought this would be a good time to check out “13 Minutes to the Moon,” a BBC podcast about NASA’s missions to the moon. Season one focuses on Apollo 11, the mission that landed the first humans on the moon, and season two is about Apollo 13, the mission that could not be completed because of a technical malfunction. The title of the series alludes to the last minutes of a spacecraft’s approach to the moon, which presenter Kevin Fong says are “like a springboard to any number of stories that when you trace them back help to unpack the mystery of just how we got ourselves to the surface of […]

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Valentina Jovanovski
Valentina Jovanovski is an editor at Geopolitical Futures. She works with analysts to hone their writing and handles daily digital publishing and communication of analytical content to subscribers. Ms. Jovanovski was previously an analyst at a research firm focusing on corporate social responsibility before moving to London, England, to earn a diploma in journalism. She worked in Budapest for two years as a freelance journalist, writing for several international publications. She was also an associate editor for an English-language Hungarian news portal. She has an honors bachelor’s degree in political science and geography from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in political science from Carleton University in Ottawa.
Phillip Orchard
Phillip Orchard is an analyst at Geopolitical Futures. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Orchard spent nearly six years at Stratfor, working as an editor and writing about East Asian geopolitics. He’s spent more than six years abroad, primarily in Southeast Asia and Latin America, where he’s had formative, immersive experiences with the problems arising from mass political upheaval, civil conflict and human migration. Mr. Orchard holds a master’s degree in Security, Law and Diplomacy from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, where he focused on energy and national security, Chinese foreign policy, intelligence analysis, and institutional pathologies. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He speaks Spanish and some Thai and Lao.